Unlike other countries in the Middle East that have rich natural resources, Jordan has no oil of its own. This makes the country’s economy reliant on trade, services and tourism, which requires a strong aviation industry.
Aviation has played a key role in Jordan’s economic development for many years. It is one of the few countries in the Middle East that has a successful, profitable growing airline, privately managed international airport, and a secondary airport that is nearer to the city and dedicated for private and charter operation.
Furthermore, Jordan was the first country in the Middle East that introduced business aviation, in the seventies of the twentieth century. The current support network for business aviation operators in Jordan is among the best in the whole region, with many Aircraft Operators, Fixed Based Operators, Maintenance Facilities, and Aviation Training Schools.
In this article, I am going to clarify the important operational and ground support service aspects that must be taken into consideration when planning a business aviation flight to Jordan.
The main airports in Jordan are Queen Alia International Airport ( OJAI / AMM ), Amman Civil Airport at Marka ( OJAM / ADJ ), and King Hussein International Airport in Aqaba ( OJAQ / AQJ). All of these airports are Airports of Entry (AOE), operate 24 hours 7 days a week, with no slot requirement.
While OJAI is the main airport for commercial schedule operation, private and VIP flights operate to OJAM in the capital Amman. Cargo flights may also operate to OJAM. Landing in Jordan for technical stop purposes is advised to be in OJAQ as turnaround time can be very short.
All business aviation flights need a landing permit when flying to Jordan, whether private flights or charter commercial non-scheduled flights. CARC (Civil Aviation Regulatory Commission) is the authority responsible for the issuance of over-flight and landing permits in Jordan. CARC issues the landing permit after getting airport authority approval.
A few years ago, CARC changed the aviation regulation in Jordan requiring all charter and business aviation operations into Jordan to submit their operating permits through a local licensed supervision agent, who will represent the aircraft operator before the CARC and who is responsible for the settlement of all the due invoices to CARC.
The lead time required for the landing permit of a private flight is 24 hours, while the lead time for a charter flight is 72 hours. Permits are normally valid for one day only, and a permit needs to be revalidated in case of schedule change beyond that. Applications for landing permits in Jordan must include the arrangements made for handling service and refueling.
The ground handling providers in OJAI are Royal Jordanian and Aviation Handling Services (AHS). Business Aviation in OJAI uses the same commercial terminal, with the exception of the guests of the Royal Court.
In Aqaba OJAQ, Jordanian Private Jets Services (JPJets) owns and operates a VIP terminal since January 2013, on a 10000 m2 land close to the Royal Pavilion. The terminal has a royal lounge, main lounge, five star kitchen and buffet, and in the first floor: crew lounge, staff offices, and four bedrooms for day use. Dedicated immigration and customs facility exists in the FBO.
Jordan Petroleum is the only aviation fuel supplier in all the Jordanian airports. Fuel is always available with no shortages.
AVGAS is only available in OJAI. It can be supplied in OJAM as well with pre-arrangement.
Flight and cabin crew are not required to have a visa to enter Jordan. They can enter on General Declaration (GENDEC) for 3 days in OJAI and for 7 days in OJAM and OJAQ.
As for the passengers, they are divided into three categories according to their nationality: restricted, unrestricted, and exempted. Passengers from restricted countries require a visa from the Jordanian Diplomatic Missions abroad. Unrestricted countries’ passengers can get a visa in the airport upon their arrival.
Almost all European, North, and South American countries, besides many nationalities from South East Asia, fall within the unrestricted visa category. Unrestricted visa passengers get a residency for one month that can be extended by visiting the police center and undergoing a medical test.
Many 5 star hotels are available in Amman, such as: the Sheraton, Le Meridien, Kempinski, Marriott, Crown Plaza, and Holiday Inn, with room rate per night ranging from $150 to $250. There is also a hotel near the airport, besides IBIS hotel in Amman as well.
In OJAQ, Intercontinental and Movenpick are the best hotels. Room rate per night is from $150 to $300 per room depending on the season and whether there is a public holiday or not.
All airports are under heavy security by Jordanian army. Private security is not allowed for either aircraft nor for passengers, unless it is a VIP flight.
With the current uprisings in the Middle East, it’s not recommended to use public taxis for crew. Private chauffeured transportation is preferable and is widely available.
As for the in-flight catering, Alpha Flight Service is the caterer in both OJAI and OJAM. In OJAQ, there is no in-flight catering provider in the airport. Catering is normally ordered from the Intercontinental hotel there.
The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is an important country that plays a key role in the Middle East, besides being rich in culture and heritage, which makes it an important destination whether for business or leisure. In order to make the most out of your trip to Jordan, it’s important to plan the flight taking the regulatory and ground support services framework into consideration.
Originally published at: BlueSky News